Is the Go Boston Card Worth it?

Go Boston Card Discounts and DealsI originally wrote this post back in 2014 but I thought it needed an update since prices and attractions change.

The Go Boston Card can be a great card for tourists visiting Boston who want to see a lot with limited time. However, I often get asked “Is the Go Boston Card worth it?” and I always give a lame answer of “it depends”.

This post breaks down the card with the attractions, prices, and possible alternatives to save at attractions to help clarify my lame “it depends” answer.

Please note that this post does contain affiliate links and I receive a small thank you if you make a purchase through a link. However, the purpose of this post is to save you the most money possible, whether you buy the card or not. Hope you find this post helpful!

The Go Boston Card by Smart Destinations is an attraction card where you pay a flat fee and you can get into as many attractions as you want for the number of days you buy the pass for. This is great for travelers who like to see a lot of attractions in a short amount of time.

How much is the Go Boston Card?

1 Day Pass: $58 for adults 13+, $39 for children 3-12,
2 Day Pass: $80 for adults, $59 for children
3 Day Pass: $119 for adults, $81 for children
5 Day Pass: $153 for adults, $108 for children
7 Day Pass: $179 for adults, $123 for children

Keep in mind that the card includes a Skip the Line perk at various attractions which can be a major perk (like at the New England Aquarium!) for those who have limited time to see everything on their Boston must-sees list. (Psst.. Here’s my Boston Must-See’s List!)

There are also many Go Cards for other cities if you are looking to travel outside of Boston soon. If you are looking to see if the card is worth it, I would make a list of all the attractions you plan to see and then add up the prices you would pay for each one whether it be at full-price, with a AAA discount, museum free day, military discount, etc. Then compare the price you would pay with and without the attraction card.

Below is the list of all attractions included in the Go Boston Card with the current attraction price (as of May, 2017) and the best discount offer in my opinion. Please note that there are SO MANY DISCOUNTS to Boston Attractions that I only listed 1-2 discounts to the Boston attractions only, but you can check out the BIG List of Discounts to Boston Attractions to see if you qualify for any other discounts, like military or teacher discounts, for example or to find discounts for the attractions located outside the city.

Please note that this info is human compiled (by me) and I can make errors. Please make sure to verify the info below as prices and info can change. If you notice any errors, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks.

Here’s what’s included in the Go Boston Card as well as the prices and discounts as of May, 2017:

Museum of Fine Arts: $25 for adults; $10 for youth 18 and younger; $23 for seniors and students
Tip: Suggested donation on Wednesday nights after 4pm and free the first weekend of every month for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Cardholders. Youth 18 and under are also free when school isn’t in session.

New England Aquarium: $27.95 for adults; $18.95 for children 3-11; $25.95 for Seniors 60+
Tip: Massachusetts Residents can receive free admission (with advanced reservation) for up to 4 people September-June with Boston Public Library Card and area libraries have discount tickets for $10 a person + many other ways to save.

Museum of Science: $25 for adults; $20 for children 3-11 and $21 for seniors $60
Tip: Massachusetts Residents can receive free admission (with advanced reservation) with Boston Public Library Card

Hop-on/off Trolley: 2-day pass: $42 for adults; $16 for children 3-12
Tip: Check daily deal sites like Groupon for tickets up to 50% off or buy online directly through the source to save $10

Fenway Park Tour: $20 for adults; $14 for seniors and $12 for children 3-12
Tip: You can take a 15-minute tour of Fenway for $15 a person

Skywalk Observatory: $19 for adults and $13 for ages 3-12
Tip: Stop by the info booth at the center of the pru for a PRUferred card and save $2 on admission (or go up a little further to the Top of the Hub restaurant to get views for free, although meals can be pricey)

Boston Children’s Museum; $16 for adults and children age 1-15
Tip: $1 on Friday nights from 5-9pm plus many other ways to save

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: $15 for adults; free for 18 and younger; $5 for college students
Tip: Go on your birthday for free admission (closed on Tuesdays though), but there’s a lot of different discounts to this art museum to save a few $, including wearing Red Sox gear.

Institute of Contemporary Art: $15 for adults; Free for 17 and younger; $13 for seniors; $10 for students
Tip: Free on Thursdays from 5-9pm and Free for Families (with children under 12) the last Saturday of every month

JFK Library & Museum: $14 for adults; $10 for ages 13-17; $12 for Seniors over 62 and students
Tip: Head to your local library for discount passes

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate: $16 for adults, $8 for kids ages 6-17
Tip: Mass residents save $2 on admission with ID and Bank of America and Merrill Lunch cardholders can receive free admission the first weekend of every month with Museums on Us.

Franklin Park Zoo: $19.95 for adults; $13.95 for children ages 2-12; $16.95 for seniors 62+
Tip: Head to your local library for discount passes.

Sam Adams Brewery Tour: This is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $2 for everyone.

Charles Riverboat Cruise: $18 for adults; $10 for children under 12; $16 for seniors, students and military
Note: Discount tickets available for $10 via Goldstar Boston

Mary Baker Eddy Library: $6 for adults; $4 for Youth 6-17, students, military and seniors 62+
Note: Closed on Mondays

Otis House Museum: $10 for adults; $4? for children; $9 for seniors; $5 for students
Tip: Free for Boston Residents (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)

Boston Bike Rental: $33.60 a person (advanced reservation needed)
Tip: AAA members can get a 15% discount with card

Swan Boats of Boston: $3.50 for adults; $2 for ages 2 to 15; $3 for seniors
Note: This is a seasonal attraction available from md-April to mid-September

Freedom Trail Walking Tour: $12 for adults and $6 for children
Note: This is a seasonal attraction from May to October. However, you can easily take a free self-guided walking tour anytime (although you may not get into some attractions in the evening).

Old South Meeting House: $6 for adults; $1 for ages 6-17; $5 for seniors 62 and older
Tip: AAA members and Charlie Card holders can save $1 on admission; Combination tickets are available too

Old State House: $10 for adults; $8.50 for seniors and students
Tip: FREE for Visitors with disabilities, All Military (active and veterans) and Youth 18 and younger

Paul Revere House: $5 for adults; $1 for ages 5-17; $4.50 for college students and seniors

USS Constitution Cruise: $22.95 for adults; $18.95 for children
Tip: Forget the cruise around the Harbor, and get on board the USS Constitution for free (with suggested donation) as a freedom trail stop. Just remember to bring your ID as you will be going through a military checkpoint.

Cambridge & Somerville

MIT Museum: $10 for adults; $5 for 17 and younger, students and seniors; free for kids under age 5
Tip: Free the last Sunday of every Month September-June and free the first weekend of every month for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders

Harvard Walking Tour: $9.95 for adults; $8.50 for children
Tip: There is another Harvard Walk tour available to the public which is directly through Harvard at no cost.

Harvard Natural History Museum: $12 for adults; $8 for children 3-18; $10 for non-Harvard College students and Seniors 65+
Tip: Free for Harvard ID holders, military members from Memorial Day to Labor Day and free for Mass Residents on certain days and more.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology: $12; $8 for ages 3-18; $10 students and seniors
Tip: Free for Harvard ID holders, military members from Memorial Day to Labor Day and free for Mass Residents on certain days and more.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston:$23 (Adults are only permitted with children)
Tip: There’s so many ways to save on tickets to Legoland including buying tickets in advance online

North of Boston

Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA): $20 for adults

House of Seven Gables (Salem, MA): $14 for adults, $9 for children ages 3-12

Salem Witch Museum (Salem, MA): $12 for adults; $9 for ages 6-14; $10.50 for senior citizens

South of Boston

Plimoth Plantation/Mayflower; $28 for adults; $16 for ages 5-12 and $26 for seniors (Prices for Plimouth Plantation Only)
Note: There are combination ticket prices available if you are doing multiple attractions in Plymouth

Hyannisport Harbor Cruise: $17 for adults; $8 for children
Note: This is seasonal from May to October

Cape Cod Canal Cruise (Wareham, MA): $17 for adults; $8 for children
Note: This is seasonal from May to October

John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (Hyannis, MA): $10 for adults, $5 for youth 8-17
Note: This is closed from December to Mid-April, except school vacation weeks

West of Boston

Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, MA): $28 for adults; $14 for children

Liberty Ride (Lexington, MA): $28 for adults; $12 for children

Louisa May Alcott House (Concord, MA): $10 for adults; $5 for children

Buckman Tavern (Lexington, MA): $8 for adults; $5 for children

Concord Museum (Concord, MA): $10 for adults; $5 for children

Six Flags New England: $65.99 for adults, $55.99 for children (gate price, lots of ways to save at Six Flags including buying online)

Premium Attractions (on select cards only)

Boston Duck Tours: $39.50 for adults, $33 for seniors 62+ and military, $27 for children 3-11, and $10.50 for kids under 3
Tip: There are so many ways to save on Boston Duck Tour tickets for the season, including an early bird discount

New England Aquarium Whale Watch: $53 for adults, $33 for children ages 3-11
Note: This is the only whale watch company directly out of Boston. However, there are a lot from other coastal towns. Groupon usually has the best whale watching discounts (IMO) if you are looking for alternatives.

Boston Red Sox Ticket: $36 value
Tip: Ticket prices vary greatly depending on game and seats. Check out Red Sox Games 101 for more information about Red Sox tickets and ways to stay on budget for games!

The Go Boston Card also has the option to build your own card. This is where you can hand pick your destinations and only pay for what you will see. This is a great option if you only want to see a few things and you don’t qualify for many discounts mentioned on the Boston Discount Attractions page.

You can save up to 20% on Boston attractions with the Build Your Own Go Boston Card compared to 55% with the regular pass; however, if you won’t take advantage of all the attractions on the regular card, you may end up saving less than 20% in the long run. It’s really up to you to decide what pass may be worth it, if any.

There is also another discount attraction card for Boston, Boston CityPASS, and I did a breakdown of the Boston CityPASS to see if the pass is worth it or not. It’s a lot smaller of a pass and only includes a few major attractions compared to this card.

Everyone travels and sightsees differently, so it is really hard to say if Smart Destination’s Go Card is worth it or not. You really need to make a list and break it down to figure out if it makes sense for you.

I hope you found this post helpful– Let me know what you decide in the comments below and let me know if you have any specific questions! Hope you have a great trip to Boston!

For more information or to purchase a go card, please head here.

As previously mentioned, this post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy if you have any questions.  

 

Comments

  1. says

    This is a great list, great summary. We contemplated for a long time whether the Boston Card would be worth for our trip to Boston, but decided against it. Mostly because on top of sightseeing and visiting major attractions, we also like to sleep in, or sit and people watch for a long time if the weather is nice, so we didn’t want to feel like we HAD to go do things. When I come back to Boston on a less beautiful weekend, I will get the Boston card and DO ALL THE THINGS. I’ll make sure to refer back to this post :)
    Kate recently posted…Boston GetawayMy Profile

    • says

      It’s definitely good for people that like to do everything! Very impressed that you are able to get downtown for less than $100! Awesome :) Hope you had a great visit!

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